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NZ Plants

Asplenium flaccidum - makawe, hanging spleenwort

Spleenwort family: Aspleniaceae

Asplenium flaccidum is a very common but variable fern rarely found on the ground, preferring trunks of tree ferns and other trees. Its thick and leathery hanging fronds and arboreal habitat distinguish it from other species of Asplenium.

Widely distributed in lowland to subalpine areas throughout New Zealand

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: short, erect rhizome with 100-300 mm fronds (occasionally greater)

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: scales linear with filamentous tip

Sporangium location: on lower frond surface

Frond shape: lanceolate to elliptic

Sporangium position: close to leaflet margin

Frond blade: 1-2-pinnate (divided 1-2x into leaflets or pinnae

Sporangia distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: leathery, hairless

Sorus shape: linear

Leaflets: variable, oblong to linear and from blunt to sharp tipped

Sorus covering: linear covering (indusium) opening toward midrib